Getting your car ready for the cold weather is one of the most important things you can do as we get closer to winter. Doing a few simple maintenance tasks can prevent breakdowns and crashes, so follow these tips on how to winterize your car.
First, inspect your fluids. Now is a good time to get an oil and filter change, since clean oil improves engine performance, and you want your engine to be in the best shape possible in this cold weather. Coolant is the most important fluid in your car during the winter, so make sure you have the correct mixture of water and coolant. Otherwise, make sure your fluids are all at the appropriate levels and add some if necessary.
You should also inspect your tires. Do the penny test or check for wear bars to make sure your tire tread isn’t too low—good traction is extremely important when driving on wet roads. If you notice leaks, cracks, bulging, or bad tread, it might be time to replace your tires. You should check the tire pressure regularly and add air when needed, since the cold will mess with the density of the air and reduce pressure.
Have your battery tested at a parts store to make sure it’s charging properly, and check your brake pads for wear. If you notice anything like strange noises or handling issues, get it checked out before it’s too late! Finally, pack a winter emergency kit with anything you might need in the event of a crash. You can find a list of emergency items here!